KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — This is a big weekend for the Vols, but an even bigger weekend for their newest team member, 7-year-old Elliot Crabtree.
Tennessee Baseball is traveling to the Lone Star State to play in the 2022 Shriners Children’s College Classic. The Vols will take on Texas, Baylor and Oklahoma throughout the weekend.
Elliot, who has been named the team captain for the tournament will depart for Texas Friday morning. Elliot is a patient ambassador for the Shriners Children’s Hospital in Greenville.
He suffers from a muscle disorder called Arthrogyposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC). The disorder causes stiff joints and abnormal muscle development in children.
Elliot is an extraordinary patient as most children with AMC do not survive birth, and those who do most likely do not survive their first year.
Angela Crabtree, Elliot’s mother, attributes an AMC Facebook group and other AMC parents for encouraging them to seek treatment at Shriners.
“Everyone at Shriners from the receptionist to the janitors were so friendly and knowledgeable about AMC,” said Angela.
The initial Shriners Hospital visit is where the Crabtree’s obtained hope that Elliot would one day do the things many said he never could. From surgeries to braces, Elliot’s treatment was ever changing.
By age 3, he stood for the first time with the help of knee immobilizers. Shortly after, Shriners suggested a joystick controlled wheelchair for Elliot. He was finally able to drive himself.
Now 7-years-old he is fully mobile and growing stronger everyday.
He is not only a regular at Shriners, he is now a regular at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
The team has welcomed Elliot into their family with open arms. He attends team practices lifts and he’s treated like a real team member.
Angela received the poem “The Bumblebee Cannot Fly” by A.S. Waldrop while she was pregnant. It inspired her to refer to Elliot as her bumblebee, a nickname that has stuck around ever since.
“Elliot is our own little bumblebee, and with God and Shriners, continues to do the impossible everyday,” said Angela.
At this time Elliot visits Shriners every six months for updated braces and therapy orders. The doctors and therapists continue to provide a source of hope for Elliot’s potential.
Elliot is fundraising to support the Shiners Children’s College Classic. If you would like to contribute to his funraiser or learn more about Elliot, visit https://bit.ly/3HDDnue.